Backing Up NFTs

Learn how to backup NFTs using Filebase.

Why is backing up NFTs important?

When an NFT is minted, its smart contract contains a reference to where the NFT’s assets are stored, such as the NFT’s image file and metadata file. If you mint an NFT from a collection that you didn’t write the smart contract for, or if you buy an NFT from a marketplace like OpenSea, you have no control over where those assets are stored. That means you’re reliant on the developer of the smart contract to maintain the storage of the NFT’s assets, and if they fail to maintain that storage, your NFT disappears. Many refer to this situation as a ‘rug-pull’.

To avoid being a victim of a rug pull you can backup your NFT’s assets to an additional storage source, so if the original storage of those assets goes down, your NFT doesn’t. Many NFTs are stored using IPFS through a process known as “pinning”. When content is pinned to IPFS, it means it is being stored long-term by an IPFS node. If that node goes offline due to an outage, or is no longer maintained, any files it is pinning go offline as well.

When an asset is stored on IPFS, its identified by a unique content identifier (CID) that is generated using the file’s cryptographic hash. Since IPFS uses these CID values, files can be easily re-pinned to additional IPFS nodes to provide redundancy for files.

Filebase is a geo-redundant IPFS pinning service and decentralized storage provider. When a file is uploaded to an IPFS bucket on Filebase, it is automatically pinned to the IPFS network with 3 duplicate copies, each of which is stored on an IPFS node located across 3 unique, geographic regions. This makes Filebase an ideal solution for backing up your NFTs since it provides 3 redundant backup copies by default.

Read below to learn how to backup NFTs using Filebase.


1. First, navigate to an NFT marketplace such as OpenSea.

View an NFT that you own. This example uses an NFT minted on Ethereum, but any chain can be used if the NFT’s assets are stored on IPFS.

2. On OpenSea, the detailed information for the NFT is below the NFT’s image on the left side of the screen.

Location of this detailed data will vary based on the marketplace.

3. From this information, click on the hyperlinked Token ID value.

On OpenSea, this Token ID brings up the NFT’s metadata file. This workflow may vary based on the marketplace you are using.

4. Once clicked, a JSON file stored on IPFS will be opened in a new tab.

Some marketplaces will display this information using a ‘View Original’ or ‘View Metadata’ button. Please note that this workflow is for NFTs on OpenSea that have been stored on IPFS. If an NFT has its assets stored on another platform like Arweave, this workflow will be different.

5. From this JSON file, there are two values to take note of:

  • The IPFS CID used in the web browser URL.

  • The IPFS CID listed for the ‘image’ field in the metadata.

Both of these CIDs have file names listed after the CID value (In this example, “/3294” and “/3294.png”). Do not include this file name with the CID value when uploading the CID to Filebase.

6. Next, navigate to the Filebase Web Console Dashboard.

7. From the ‘Buckets’ dashboard, select an IPFS bucket to use. Need to create an IPFS bucket? Learn how to here.

8. Once inside the IPFS bucket, select ‘Upload’, then select ‘CID’.

9. Then, enter the CID value for the metadata file (the CID taken from the URL), and give the CID a human-readable name.

10. Then select ‘Search and Pin’. The ‘Status’ should read ‘Pinning’.

11. Repeat this step for the NFT’s image CID.

12. Then, you can test the storage of these CIDs by using the Filebase public IPFS gateway.

The Filebase IPFS public gateway only returns CIDs pinned on the Filebase infrastructure. In this URL, you will need to include the additional file path that was originally included after the CID. (In this example, the ‘/3294’ and ‘/3294.png’ values).

Your NFT is now backed up to IPFS through Filebase!

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